Habitat Hero

Habitat Hero Awards for 2014!

Congratulations to the 2014 Habitat Hero Awardees!

Our judges have finished evaluating this year's crop of applications, which span the Rocky Mountain region from northern Wyoming to southern Colorado, and from western South Dakota to Utah. Applicants included public gardens, schools, parks and trails, apartment/townhouse/condo complexes, professional landscapes (designed by landscapers, horticulturists and garden writers), and residential yards and gardens. Out of those, the judges picked 28 as Habitat Heroes. All represent creative habitat restoration; judges also recognized exceptional examples as "Outstanding" in their categories.

Here are the 2014 Habitat Hero Awardees!

Public Gardens

DBG@ Chatfield--Outstanding Public Garden

The historic Chatfield Schoolhouse surrounded by the mesic prairie garden. Photo: Lauren Springer Ogden

Highlands Garden Village, 38th & Tennyson, Denver—Outstanding Volunteer-Maintained Public Garden

Volunteers maintain this inviting habitat garden at  Highlands Garden Village on the site of the original Elitch's Gardens, Denver's first botanic garden.

Horticultural Arts Society, Glen Ave, Colorado Springs, CO

Painted Lady butterflies on Gaillardia in the Heritage Garden, one of three gardens maintained by the Horticultural Arts Society.

Richardson Wildscape Corridor, E. 7th Place & Laredo, Aurora, CO

A strip of unused public land adopted and planted by a neighbor with diverse flowers and shrubs to increase pollinator habitat.

School Gardens

Pinedale Elementary, Rapid City, SD--Outstanding School Garden

The new Black Hills Garden, one of three habitat gardens in the school's central courtyard.

Parks and Trails

Monarch Spur Trail, Salida, CO—Outstanding Park/Trail Project

An old railroad right-of-way repurposed for a town trail system and a habitat corridor for wildlife.

Apartment/Townhome/Condo Complexes

Cherry Creek 3 Homeowners Association—Outstanding Multi-Family Development 

Colorful, water-thrifty habitat gardens replace overgrown junipers for townhouse dooryard gardens.

Professional Landscapes

Hayward Yard, Masonville, CO—Outstanding Landscape

This beautiful "tinaja" (waterhole) wildlife garden seems to flow right out of the foothills landscape.

Peacock Yard, Lakewood, CO

Waterwise front yard of pollinator and songbird food plants replaced scruffy lawn and aging pfizer junipers; backyard is a watered wildlife oasis.

Tatroe Yard, Centennial, CO—Outstanding Habitat Garden

Cottage garden meets wildscape in this yard deliberately designed to increase plant diversity and provide a haven for wildlife of all sorts in a "bluegrass desert" suburban community.

Residential Yards and Gardens

(These are simply listed in alphabetical order, no ranking implied!)

Alberty/Buschmann Yard, Salt Lake City, UT--Outstanding Residential Garden

A steep back slope once carpeted with noxious Myrtle Spurge has been transformed into a beautiful native habitat that is home to owls, hummingbirds, snakes, and pollinators of all sorts.

Aslakson Yard, Littleton, CO

A water-thrifty butterfly garden replaces "haggard" lawn and also attracts songbirds and other pollinators.

Bidgood Garden, Denver, CO—Special Recognition for Citizen Science

A front-yard pollinator garden replaces 300 square feet of sod and provides an outdoor "lab" for observing bumblebees and ladybugs for citizen science projects.

 Blum Meadow, Silverthorne, CO

A mountain meadow disturbed by house construction was restored with native grasses and wildflowers to provide habitat.

Bohanan Yard, Cheyenne, WY

A pollinator garden replaces a "tired, water-hungry" lawn in a historic Cheyenne neighborhood.

Cappel Yard, Brighton, CO—Outstanding Residential Garden

A vibrant habitat garden developed by "trial and error" brightens a rural subdivision with lawn and watering regulations.

Engelstad Yard, Rapid City, SD—Outstanding Residential Yard

Developing this pollinator and songbird habitat garden in a "green lawn" subdivision required permission of the HOA, and lowered the indoor temperature of the house by 10 degrees in summer!

Freudenburg Yard, Colorado Springs, CO—Outstanding Habitat Garden

A winter visitor drinks at the cascade in this urban-rural edge yard.

Gaudet Prairie Restoration, Berthoud, CO

Once a denuded and weedy horse pasture, now a thriving Blue Grama prairie with woodland edges.

Hemenway Wildscape Yard, Fort Collins, CO

Bluegrass sod on its way out; foothills prairie plants appearing in this whole-yard wildscape-in-progress.

James Garden, Denver, CO

Black-Headed Grosbeak eyes a nest box in an apple tree.

King Wildscape Garden, Lakewood, CO

Front-yard cottage-garden-style wildscape replaces lawn with thriving and beautiful habitat for pollinators and songbirds.

Morland Yard, Denver, CO

Vibrant wildscape borders have become an attraction in a "manicured" city neighborhood.

Piombino Garden, Boulder County, CO

Once a bindweed-infested pasture, now a sheltered garden-in-progress that already invites pollinators and songbirds.

Rose Wildscape, Powell, WY—Outstanding Zone 4 Garden

A northern Wyoming wildscape that provides cover, food, and beauty--an oasis for wildlife and humans!

Segrest and Beard Yard, Grand Junction, CO

A profusion of flowers provides food for pollinators; sunflowers attract seed-eating birds.

Stalls & Purner Yard, Denver, CO—Special Recognition for Creativity

A sunny stressed corner becomes a habitat-garden-in-progress and a neighborhood gathering spot complete with lending library!

Wasko Garden, Englewood, CO

A driveway "hellstrip" becomes pollinator garden with herbs and other perennial plants.

Congratulations to the 2014 Habitat Heroes! Thank you for helping grow a network of habitat for wildlife in the Rocky Mountain region.

Join Audubon RockiesPlant Select® and High Country Gardens in promoting wildscaping. Be a Habitat Hero.

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